Martin Luther King Jr said ‘We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’ With this in mind, I set out to ponder whether you can use disappointment to your advantage to gain a win in business. Here are my seven tips to building your business armour.
1 I Feel You!
Do not be ashamed of going through the gamut of emotions after a soul crushing disappointment. Allow yourself a little time to feel the impact of the situation, and as soon as you have done this, get out of your head and past your ‘emotional debris’. It is going to serve you no longer!
You have emotionally raked over the ashes and no doubt tortured yourself in the process. It is now time to step over them and analyse the situation objectively. Did you actually take anything valuable from the experience? Were you actually better at a part of it than you expected? Do you know now how you would do things differently? Mine the experience for every positive nugget and greedily keep your treasures!
3 Resist Overshadowing
Never allow a disappointment to cloud or taint your vision. The ‘victim mentality’ will never be an asset to you. Keep your destination as clear as ever and simply plot a new course.
4 Define Success
Don’t think in terms of being successful, allowing your disappointment to take on the disguise of failure. Define in detail what success means to you. It could be securing a new client, achieving an industry related award or even reaching a personal financial goal like clearing an old debt. Defining personal success makes perceived goals more achievable and allows the word ‘failure’ to disappear from your vocabulary. Trust me, you won’t need it!
5 Be Brutally Honest!
This may sound odd, but don’t dress up your ambitions romantically, save that for the Mission Statement in your business plan. You don’t have to tell anyone, but keep a reminder or a mental note of why you really want it so badly. Be as selfish and brutal as you can. It could be that you want more time to do the things you want with who you want, or you hate working in a job that holds no meaning beyond a paycheque, you hate commuting and being jammed in a cubicle all day or you simply want control over how much money you make and want to keep it all to yourself (after tax of course!)
6 Parent Yourself!
This one is not my idea, or revelation, but suggested by a wonderful speech I watched by Mel Robbins. It is so important I hope she will not mind my light fingers borrowing it! There will be things you will never feel like doing. You have to force yourself to do it if you are to capture your dream. Terrify yourself by going to the networking event thinking you will be out of your depth. Start the business blog even if you think you have nothing to say. On the other hand, don’t punish yourself when things didn’t turn out the way you thought, or things are taking longer than expected. Push yourself while valuing yourself, just as a parent would.
7 Keep your Cards Close to your Chest!
I fervently wish I had been told this in the beginning! This final tip is vital. I know the first thing you want to do when you believe you have a workable business idea is to tell all and sundry, or at least the ones closest to you. Just…Don’t! Even those who love you will tell you to be realistic and gleefully tell you how competitive the world is, generally try and put you off trying. To this day I still have no idea why. Misplaced kindness? Jealousy that they haven’t followed their dream? They may even think they mean well, who knows! I will tell you now, your goals will most likely take longer than you ever anticipated and will take repeated attempts. You will likely struggle a lot to begin with and the last thing you need at this stage is to saddle yourself with the word ‘failure’ instead of ‘perseverance’ and the naysayers saying they ‘told you so’. There are no overnight successes and most businesses only fail because they gave up too soon. Keep your trials to yourself, there will be many, and only go public when you are in a secure position.
Just remember one thing when disappointment and negativity surrounds you. The odds of you being here are approximately one in four hundred trillion! The odds of being the unique person you are can’t even be calculated. Nurture your wonderful ideas and stop doubting yourself.